At the beginning of 1997 the Minister for Equal Opportunities Affairs, Labour
Law and Working Hours appointed the director general of the National
Institute of Economic Research, Svante Öberg, as a special investigator with
the task of proposing measures to promote a satisfactory system of pay
determination (SE9704111F ). On 27 November 1997, he presented his first
results (Medlingsinstitut och lönestatistikSOU 1997:164).
At the beginning of December 1997, the Austrian Government announced plans
for a "clean workplace campaign" (Aktion sauberer Arbeitsplatz) aimed at
combating illegal employment. The main objective is to get a better grip on
taxable income but a secondary aim is clearly to please the social partners
after 1997's acrimonious pensions debate (AT9709134N ). At the Ministry of
Labour, Health and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit
und Soziales, BMAGS), six working groups were set up with a remit to devise
tighter controls and more adequate penalties. In all working groups, the
social partners are included along with representatives of various
After more than eight months of negotiations, new collective agreements were
concluded in November and December 1997 for the 1.8 million or so employees
in the west German retail trade, ending the 1997 collective bargaining round.
New agreements were concluded in most regional bargaining areas between the
trade union responsible, Gewerkschaft Handel Banken Versicherungen (HBV), and
the regional employers' associations - which are members of the national peak
employers' association for the retail trade, Hauptverband des Deutschen
Denmark has experienced five years of uninterrupted economic recovery, and in
1997 economic growth was estimated at approximately 3%. This has led to
sizeable reductions in unemployment rates which have few parallels in Europe
during this decade. Unemployment has been reduced from a record-high rate of
12.4% in 1993 to 7.4% in December 1997 - a reduction equal to 205,800
unemployed persons. The reduction has been beneficial for all groups, and
especially for women. These positive tendencies are mirrored by an
improvement in general government finances. Denmark will be one of the first
countries in Europe to be able to show a surplus on the general government
account in 1997. The current surplus of 0.7% is expected to increase to DKK
14 billion (ECU 1.9 billion) or 1.2% of GDP in 1998. Inflation stood at 1.9%
The Irish economy has performed exceptionally well in recent years, with
annual GNP growth averaging 6%-7% between 1994 and 1996 and standing at 6.6%
in 1997, according to Eurostat figures. This has resulted in increased
prosperity and living standards, and these trends are forecast to continue
over the short to medium term. Inflation averaged 2.2% over 1994-6, and is
expected to remain at around 2% in the foreseeable future (Eurostat puts the
1997 figure at 1.2%). The General Government Deficit was reduced from 2.2 %
of GDP in 1993 to around 1.5% in 1996 - Eurostat estimates a public surplus
of 0.9% of GDP in 1997 - while the debt/GDP ratio fell from 94% in 1993 to
76% at the end of 1996 - 66.3% in 1997, according to Eurostat. The strong
performance of the economy has resulted in significant employment growth.
Indeed, total employment increased by an average of over 45,000 per year
between 1993 and 1996, while the unemployment rate declined from almost 17%
in 1993 to just under 13% in 1996 and (according to Eurostat) 10.2% in 1997.
Following the special Jobs Summit  which took place in Luxembourg on 20-21
November 1997 (EU9711168F ), the European Commission adopted a final
proposal for Guidelines for Member States' employment policies for 1998 
on 3 December 1997. The proposal, which was adopted by the Council of Labour
and Social Affairs Ministers on 15 December 1997 (EU9712175N ), launches
the European employment strategy agreed at the Amsterdam European Council
meeting in June 1997 (EU9706133N ). These guidelines now have to be
incorporated into national employment action plans drawn up by the Member
States in the form of national objectives. Member States are committed to
submitting these plans in time for their examination by the European Council
meeting to take place in Cardiff in June 1998. The implementation of these
guidelines will be monitored regularly and an annual report will be produced
by the Commission. This approach draws on the existing practice of
multiannual surveillance established after the December 1994 Essen summit, to
monitor the implementation of the recommendation drawn up at that meeting.
Toyota, the Japan-based motor manufacturer, has a UK plant at Burnaston in
Derbyshire, which is said to have the third-highest productivity levels of
any car plant in Europe. It was widely expected that the company would
continue its investment in the UK by building a new plant aimed at production
for the small-car market in that country. However, on 10 December 1997, the
announcement was made that the GBP 400 million assembly plant, which is
likely to create over 2,000 jobs, will be built in Valenciennes, northern
In November 1997, Luxembourg's Social Institute hosted a debate involving
trade unions and employers on the Government's plan to introduce "dependence
insurance", to cover against becoming dependent through disability, illness
The results of the December 1997 elections to France's /Prud'hommes/
industrial tribunals have confirmed the trends observed for more than a
decade. The only new development is the CFDT union confederation's victory in
the management staff electoral college.
An agreement was concluded on 10 October 1997 between Norway Post and the
Joint Federation of Postal Employees.The latter is the cooperation body for
the two unions that organise the majority of employees in the postal service,
the Norwegian Union of Postal Employees (DNP) and the Norwegian Union of
Postal Workers (NPF), both of which are affiliated to the Norwegian
Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). The agreement aims at creating a new
infrastructure for postal operations, which involves a reduction in the
number of sorting offices in operation. Also included in this agreement are
measures to safeguard the jobs of approximately 1,500 employees adversely
affected by this reorganisation.
Eurofound’s work on COVID-19 examines the far-reaching socioeconomic implications of the pandemic across Europe as they continue to impact living and working conditions. A key element of the research is the e-survey, conducted in three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. It provides an overview of trends in working conditions and quality of employment for the last 30 years. It covers issues such as employment status, working time duration and organisation, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, work–life balance, worker participation, earnings and financial security, work and health, and most recently also the future of work.
The European Restructuring Monitor has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This series includes its restructuring-related databases (events, support instruments and legislation) as well as case studies and publications.
Eurofound’s Flagship report series 'Challenges and prospects in the EU' comprise research reports that contain the key results of multiannual research activities and incorporate findings from different related research projects. Flagship reports are the major output of each of Eurofound’s strategic areas of intervention and have as their objective to contribute to current policy debates.
Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) maps and analyses company policies and practices which can have an impact on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development of social dialogue in companies. This series consists of outputs from the ECS 2019, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
Eurofound's representativness studies are designed to allow the European Commission to identify the ‘management and labour’ whom it must consult under article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This series consists of studies of the representativeness of employer and worker organisations in various sectors.
This series reports on and updates latest information on the involvement of national social partners in policymaking. The series analyses the involvement of national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, including their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs).
This series reports on the new forms of employment emerging across Europe that are driven by societal, economic and technological developments and are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. This series explores what characterises these new employment forms and what implications they have for working conditions and the labour market.
The European Company Survey (ECS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2004–2005, with the latest edition in 2019. The survey is designed to provide information on workplace practices to develop and evaluate socioeconomic policy in the EU. It covers issues around work organisation, working time arrangements and work–life balance, flexibility, workplace innovation, employee involvement, human resource management, social dialogue, and most recently also skills use, skills strategies and digitalisation.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a high demand for labour and low unemployment levels made labour shortages one of the key policy concerns in the EU. Even where there is persistent and rising unemployment, individual countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages, which in some instances have been accentuated by COVID-19. This report explores various approaches to measuring labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
The issue of regional convergence and whether disadvantaged regions are catching up with wealthier regions continues to attract enormous attention in the policy debate. This report presents the findings of an investigation into the evolution of social imbalances across EU regions over time, based on indicators including unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. It also examines various aspects of the relationship between growth, regional disparities and interpersonal inequalities.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.